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Tweddle to keep 2012 options open

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Floor gold delights Tweddle

New world champion Beth Tweddle says she could quit before the 2012 Olympics if she is not performing at her best.

The 24-year-old Briton is already past the age at which the majority of top gymnasts retire from competition.

"I want to be remembered as someone who has achieved something not as someone who achieved then failed," she said.

"I'd love to represent Team GB, but the decision will probably be made in 2012. If my results start to decrease, then maybe it's time to bow out."

Tweddle won her second world title by claiming gold in the floor exercise at the O2 Arena in London at the weekend, having won on the uneven bars in Denmark in 2006.

She hopes to return to the same venue in three years' time to appear in front of her home fans at the 2012 Games.

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She added: "Gymnastics is changing now, it used to be about 15- and 16-year-olds but the age barrier is moving up now. (Oksana) Chusovitina, who represented Germany at the Olympics last year, was 32 and won an Olympic silver, so it is possible.

"But three years is a long time away, we'll have to take one step at a time and see if I'm there."

Tweddle's floor routine was a cut above those her rivals, but the City of Liverpool gymnast told reporters she can still improve.

"When I won my first world title it was on my signature piece, the uneven bars," she said.

"Only in the past couple of years have I started to come through the ranks on the floor.

"I've still got stuff that can go into my routine on the floor but in bars, to get my start value up is pretty hard with the new eight-skill requirement.

"I'm going to have to go home and seriously think what else I can do, whereas on floor I've got a couple more things in the bag I can pull out."

Tweddle spoke of her pride at being able to bounce back from a disappointing qualifying session, in which she fell from the bars, consequently missing out on a chance to regain that title.

Beth Tweddle

Highlights - Tweddle wins floor gold

"A lot of people thought after qualifying that I wouldn't be able to pull myself back up after the disappointment on the bars," she said.

"So it's probably a better feeling winning this world title than it was winning the bars title."

She added: "The crowd were fantastic. As I walked out there was a roar, and I thought 'I have to prove I'm one of the best'."

While her Olympic future remains undecided, Tweddle will next be in action at the European Championships, which will also be held on British soil.

The Euros will be held next April and May in Birmingham, which hosted the World Championships in 1993.

Tweddle is also expected to challenge for medals at next year's World Championships, to be held in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in October.



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